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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2015

Cystatin C as a potential predictor of osteoprotegerin levels in healthy men, a cross-sectional, observational study

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2015
Eva Kulcsar-Jakab, Zsofia Petho, Zoltan Pap, Edit Kalina, Roza Foldesi, Adam Balogh, Peter Antal-Szalmas, Harjit Pal Bhattoa
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12891-015-0684-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

Study Design: AB, PAS, HPB. Study conduct: EKJ, ZsP, EK, RF, AB, PAS, HPB. Data collection: EKJ, ZsP, AB, HPB. Data interpretation: EKJ, ZsP, ZoP, AB, PAS, HPB. Drafting manuscript: EKJ, ZsP, HPB. Revising manuscript content: ZoP, PAS, HPB. Approving final version of manuscript: EKJ, ZsP, ZoP, EK, RF, AB, PAS, HPB. HPB takes responsibility for integrity of the data analysis.



The aim of the present study is to evaluate serum osteoprotegerin (OPG) and soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (sRANKL) levels in a randomly selected male cohort over 50 years of age and its association with cystatin C, a cysteine proteinase inhibitor that decreases formation of osteoclasts by interfering at a late stage of pre-osteoclast differentiation, apart from being a marker of renal function independent of gender, muscle mass and age; in addition to known predictors such as age, sex hormones, vitamin D, bone mineral density (BMD) and biochemical markers of bone turnover.


We determined serum OPG and sRANKL levels and examined its relationship with cystatin C, age, osteocalcin, C-terminal telopeptides of type-I collagen, procollagen type 1 amino-terminal propeptide, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, total 17β-estradiol (E2), total testosterone and L1–L4 (LS) and femur neck (FN) BMD data available from 194 (age, range: 51–81 years) randomly selected ambulatory men belonging to the HunMen cohort.


OPG correlated significantly with age (Spearman’s rho (r) = 0.359, p < 0.001), cystatin C (r = 0.298, p < 0.001), E2 (r = 0.160, p = 0.028) and free testosterone index (FTI) (r = −0.230, p = 0.001). Compared to the middle-aged (age: ≤ 59 years, n = 98), older men (age > 59 years, n = 96) had significantly higher serum OPG (4.6 pmol/L vs. 5.4 pmol/L; p < 0.001), and lower sRANKL (0.226 pmol/L vs. 0.167 pmol/L; p = 0.048) levels. The older men showed a significant correlation between serum OPG levels and cystatin C (Spearman’s rho = 0.322, p = 0.002), and E2 (Spearman’s rho = 0.211, p = 0.043). Including cystatin C and E2 in a regression model showed that cystatin C (standard regression coefficient (β) = 0.345; p = 0.002) was the only significant predictor of serum OPG levels in the older men.


The results of this study demonstrated that in addition to age (which was the stronger predictor), other modifiable factors such as cystatin C, FTI and E2 were also significant predictors of OPG, and that the association between cystatin C and OPG was more evident with increased age (older age group). As such, cystatin C is a significant predictor of OPG independently of age, FTI and E2.
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